Tides Awards $10,000 2017 Pizzigati Prize to software developer Taylor Downs

Nonprofit organizations typically use a variety of software systems and tools to advance their missions. Unfortunately, moving essential information between these systems and tools can be a resource-draining — and mission-frustrating — ordeal.

And that’s where Taylor Downs comes in. The 30-year-old has been the founder and core contributor of OpenFn, an innovative software package that teaches technologies to talk to one another.

For this contribution, Downs has become the 11th annual winner of the...


An Election Season Reminder from The Advocacy Fund

It may be hard to believe, but it's nearly 2016 and election season is just around the corner. As you know, 501(c)(3) public charities cannot engage in partisan political activity, but that doesn't mean your organization should be deterred from being a strong advocate for your issues in an election year. 501(c)(3)'s can criticize an incumbent legislator for a bad vote on its issues, conduct nonpartisan voter registration drives, and nonpartisan Get Out the Vote activity. Also, don't forget that advocating for or against ballot...


Building Capacity by Transforming Grantor/Grantee Relationships

Guest post by Sai Seigel. Sai Seigel was Director of the Bayview Hunters Point Community Fund, a donor-advised fund at Tides Foundation, from 2007-2014.

The Bayview Hunters Point Community Fund (The Fund) offers one example of what it looks like when traditional grantor/grantee relationships are changed to foster mutual trust and a more personal relationship. This week, we released a final report (at to share what we learned about capacity building over our 13 year initiative, during which we provided...


One Day After Peace: A film by Robi Damelin

Could you forgive somebody who has done you wrong? Performed such an egregious act that it leaves your scarred for the remainder of your days?  The notion of reconciliation is explored in a fascinating and moving film by Robi Damelin.

Budget Breakthroughs: Nonprofit Strategies for Resolving a Funding Crisis

When faced with a funding crisis, you might panic, or ignore it. You might blame others, yourself, or the economy. You might throw yourself into organizing a big event or apply for every grant possible.

Building Momentum at Tides

Innovation and impact are words that we hear more and more often these days in the nonprofit world.  The truth is, we need more of both in an era of stagnant foundation endowments and besieged individual donors reeling from recession. Yet innovation and impact are imprecise terms that are hard to both qualify and quantify. What distinguishes innovative from interesting?  To jumpstart the conversation, I am delighted to announce the inaugural issue of Momentum, a new quarterly publication of Tides dedicated to advancing thought leadership and action in support of progressive social change.

Beyond Politics: Navigating a New Reality

Earlier this month, the Tides Learning Community hosted a call with Greenlining Institute's Samuel Kang and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' Ellen Nissenbaum about the ongoing debt ceiling and deficit reduction talks, and the upcoming deadlines from the joint congressional committee.   In addition to providing historical background and fiscal context, Nissenbaum warned of the dangers of possible outcomes that rely too heavily on spending cuts without generating new revenue.

Dave Eggers, a Voice of Witness

This past August, the acclaimed author and educator Dave Eggers—best known as the author of seven books including  What is the What, as well as the founder of both McSweeney's and  826 Valencia—visited the Tides Learning Community for a  conversation with Tides CEO Melissa Bradley.  Eggers focused on a more recent project called Voice of Witness, a nonprofit book series that depicts human rights crises around the world through the stories of the men and women who experience them.  Read on for highlights and photos from their conversation.

We're Just Getting Started: Preventing Massive Budget Cuts

Remember the nasty national deficit debate back in August? The fight is not over. President Obama and Congress punted the issue to a committee charged with reducing the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade.  The most critical questions the Gang of Twelve must address is how much more cuts can Americans bear? What are the alternatives to massive cuts?  In an effort to shed more light on this issue, Tides and the Greenlining Institute will co-host the first of a series of conference calls, “Beyond Politics: Navigating a New Reality,” with keynote speaker Ellen Nissenbaum, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs for the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities.

One Heart World-Wide Battles Maternal Mortality

Earlier this month, Arlene Samen and Carlos Tapadera Concheño of One Heart World-Wide visited the Tides Learning Community in San Francisco to speak about their excellent work in teaching good birth practices and preventing maternal mortality in Tibet, Mexico, and Nepal.  Samen originally launched the One Heart program in Tibet, and over ten years, the number of women who died in childbirth annually dropped from 33 to zero.

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